Friday, January 30, 2009

Waves for the weekend – well at least there is football on

It does not look very surfable this weekend.

Weather is going to be great and winds good...just no swell in the water.

We are going to have a mix of leftover WNW and SW energy...neither of which will amount to much. On average it looks like flat-knee high surf for most of the average exposed spots. A few of the top breaks, with really good sand and swell exposure will have some knee high+ surf...but there won’t be much more than that...maybe a touch more consistency at the NW spots on Sunday as a little more windswell fills in.

Weather like I said will be good...sunny skies, more offshore winds...basically great beach weather. Afternoon winds will get a little more “variable” but if we had waves it would be rideable most of the day.

There really isn’t a best call this weekend...if you see a semi-rideable wave paddle isn’t going to get better around the corner or later in the day. I would give you the tides but really it isn’t going to matter.

OK enough of “Debbie Downer” forecast...long-range is looking a lot more interesting. Both the North and the South Pacific are becoming more active and it looks like we are going to see some building, if not playful combo swell around the middle of next week.

Right now forecast charts are showing a couple of new lows forming in about 2-3 days in the North Pacific that line up WNW swell for the 4-5th...there will also be some small SSW swell in the water about the same time that will help to break up the NPAC energy. Check out the WavewatchIII “primary” swell-period chart...

You can see the swells overlapping along the Socal region in about 4-5 days or so.

Overall it is not going to be that big...and some of the WNW swell still needs to be produced (it is only squiggly lines at a chart at this point)...but I am expecting some fun waist-chest high surf for most of the exposed combo spots by Thursday of next week...and the potential for some chest-shoulder high sets at the top spots. Like I said...not great...but definitely more fun than watching a flat ocean.

Check out the swells that are a bit further out in the forecast...looks like we could get some more combo swell around the 10-11th if things continue to come together.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday’s Surf – a few tiny waves

Friday won’t be what I would call a surf day...but the weather/winds will continue to be nice and this little tiny Southern Hemi swell and background WNW combo will manage to sneak a few semi-rideable waves into the top spots.

Personally I didn’t manage a surf today but I was keeping an eye on the beach...and I saw a few waist high sets sneaking through some of the top North OC spots...which is a little bigger than I thought it would be on Thursday. It wasn’t great or anything but I have to admit the strong offshores made it look a lot more appealing than it would have otherwise. The winds didn’t hold up everywhere...a few other regions looked a bit fugly later in the afternoon.

Anyway onto looks like the little SW/WNW swell mix will continue to sort of limp through. It won’t be big, it won’t have much behind it, but if you have the right equipment (and the right attitude) you will probably be able catch a soft section here and there.

The average spots will be right around knee high on Friday. Top combo spots, mostly through San Diego/Orange County, will have some very inconsistent knee-waist high sets.

Winds will be offshore again in the morning...mostly in the 10-15 knot range but with some stronger gusts in the North LA/Ventura areas. Winds get variable to variable onshore by the afternoon (there will be some cleaner pockets near passes and canyons).

I am thinking that longboards will be the best call tomorrow...but you might (if you weigh like 130lbs) be able to get away with a fishier shape...just plan on using the super small wave gear. Top combo breaks, mostly the beach breaks, will have the better shape...but a few of the points/reefs might be ok on the lower tides. Just plan on it being small, sunny, a bit windy, (with ‘nad-freezing water), and you won’t be disappointed.

Here are the tides for tomorrow...

05:11AM LST 1.5 L
10:47AM LST 4.1 H
05:22PM LST 0.5 L
11:49PM LST 4.4 H

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flatness for Thursday – I guess we can make sandcastles

Thursday is not going to be a surf day...the conditions will be great...but there will be almost no swell in the water.

We are going to have a tiny mix of leftover WNW energy and an itsy-bitsy touch of southern hemi energy. Wave heights are going to get totally worked over by the midmorning tide...(and they won’t be much better on the lower tides in the afternoon) that isn’t going to help things either.

On average we can expect knee high to almost flat for most average spots during the dawn patrol. Top WNW facing spots in San Diego, maybe in Southern Ventura as well, will have knee high surf with a few waist high softies on the lower tides.

Winds and weather will be great...Santa Ana flow...moderately offshore for most areas through the morning...stronger offshore gusts around Southern San Diego and in North LA. Afternoon winds will be variable, generally below 10-knots.

The forecast isn’t looking very good for the next few days. The surf is just going to get smaller on Friday and Saturday. Checkout the CDIPer sideways forecast...that is a lot of dark blue.

At this point, based on the forecast run this afternoon, it looks like we will start getting more WNW swell around the 4-5th of February...and possibly some SW swell around the 10th...these swells aren’t set in stone but I have seen the storms on the long-range charts for a couple of days, hopefully we get them to brew up and break us out of the flat spell.

Here are the tides...not that they are going to help you much.

04:24AM LST 1.5 L
10:09AM LST 4.7 H
04:58PM LST 0.1 L
11:17PM LST 4.3 H

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wednesday’s Waves – Cleaner and smaller

Wednesday looks surfable but overall size is going to be backing down.

Our WNW swell and windswell that peaked on Monday/early Tuesday will be backing down pretty steadily on Wednesday. There will be a tiny touch of southern hemi background energy but not enough to make the S facing spots work.

On average we can expect surf in the knee-waist high range. Top NW facing spots, mostly those through San Diego and Ventura, will have some waist-chest high+ sets through the early morning. Almost everything is going to shut down as the tide fills in and peaks midmorning.

Winds look decent on Wednesday...not as offshore as Tuesday...but generally light and variable to light offshore though the morning. Light onshore through the afternoon. (the Santa Ana style flow returns more on Thursday and Friday but the surf stays on the small side too, which sucks).

I think that you are going to want the small wave gear at most spots tomorrow. I managed to get out on Tuesday (around lunch up in North OC) and while there were still a few inconsistent sets my little fishy board wasn’t really all that fun...with the swell dropping the boggy shape is just going to get worse. For the bigger guys I am thinking longboard size/shape...the smaller surfers might be able to get away with a fish at the top spots.

03:44AM LST 1.6 L
09:35AM LST 5.2 H
04:34PM LST -0.3 L
10:49PM LST 4.1 H

Monday, January 26, 2009

Surf for Tuesday – Clean with a few fun ones

Tuesday looks sooooo much more surfable than Monday. I would even venture to say that it is going to be a surf day at the better NW facing spots.

We are going to have a mix of WNW swell (some of which will be leftover from the weekend as well as a new pulse of energy from (290-300) and local windswell) that filled in on Monday and will be slowly fading out on Tuesday.

Wave heights for most average W-NW facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range on the lower tides. The top NW facing spots, mostly through San Diego, will have some shoulder-head high waves on the better sets, tides permitting of course.

Weather looks much better with light and variable to light offshore winds in the morning and only moderate NW winds 10-12 knots by the afternoon. Check the COAMPS for tomorrow morning...I like seeing winds going those directions on forecast charts.

Like I said above...I think we are going to see a few fun waves tomorrow. It won’t be great, but anything is better than the blown out mess that we saw on Monday. I would plan on sticking with those top NW facing spots if you are looking for consistent size...but there should be some rideable waves at most of the W-WNW facing spots as well. I don’t think that it will be worth driving cross county lines...or even that far for that matter...but it will be worth driving a little further for a NW facing spot tomorrow. The tides are going to be an issue again...try and plan around the high-tide peak if you can.

03:07AM LST 1.7 L
09:03AM LST 5.5 H (damn you gravity!)
04:09PM LST -0.6 L
10:23PM LST 4.0 H

Google Robots = lame


This is only effects people that have been getting the forecast in email form from the Southern California Surf Forecast Blog group.

It looks like the Socal Forecast Group has been flagged by the google robots for some reason. I have requested a review but in the meantime it looks like it isn't emailing you guys any of the new posts.

For the time being you are going to have to check this website for the latest forecasts. The are still being updated on a regular schedule.

You can also go to the google group page

and request that the content "is not spam" (well if you really feel that way)...and it should help to unlock the group faster.



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monday’s Surf – Looking ugly

Monday does not look like a surf day.

We are going to see some slowly fading WNW swell, local windswell, and a touch of tiny background SW swell but it looks like winds are going to hack it up pretty good for most spots.

Sizewise look for consistent chest-shoulder high at most of the average exposed spots. Top breaks with exposure to the windswell/WNW swell mix will be closer to head high on the bigger sets. Shape is going to be pretty poor…any spot that escapes the wind won’t really be able to pull in any of the swell…so we are kind of out of luck for tomorrow.

Weather we can expect W-NW winds 10-15 knots with some near 20 knot gusts by the afternoon. It may be a little lighter in the morning but I think it is going to nice and lumpy no matter what the wind is doing right at dawn. Expect it to get progressively worse through the afternoon.

Personally I am not planning on surfing tomorrow…the winds look like they are going to make it complete poo for most of the day. Oh I will probably check a surf cam now and then throughout the day but it will be mostly for entertainment sake. Fortunately winds look like they get better on Tuesday and then even more offshore by Wednesday…hopefully some surf will stick around through the middle of the week.

This is how Monday's wind makes me feel...(sorry I am suddenly back to posting lame internet stuff again.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Waves for the weekend – more WNW swell...a little more rain

Saturday and Sunday both look semi-surfable, weather may be an issue at times but there will be some waves.

We have new WNW swell (285-300) that is moving into SoCal this evening...peaking on Saturday and then fading on Sunday. Most of the energy is still up in the 290-300 range but there will still be plenty of waves at most of the winter spots...the spots that have been doing the best will continue to do so over the weekend.

In general we should expect surf in the chest-shoulder high range at the average W facing spots. Standout breaks will have shoulder-head high surf with a few bigger sets on the lower tides.

Again I didn’t see a ton of energy on the buoys but I think there is enough juice in this incoming swell, and the fact that it is mixing with a lot of leftovers and even a touch of southern hemi background stuff, that we will have some playful waves if the winds cooperate.

Weather looks a bit sketchy...more scattered showers and fluky winds. I expect most of the wind to be variable to light southerly through both Saturday and Sunday with the strongest onshore flow occurring through the afternoons. It will be mostly under 10-knots but you could catch some unlucky breaks at times and see some stronger gusts.

Water quality and weather are both going to be sort of jacking us up this weekend. I don’t think it will be worth driving around a lot for waves...I would probably just plan on sticking close to home and picking off a session here and there if things come together for your local spots. The tide is going to be a factor though the dawn patrol so expect some bogginess through the AM.

Here are the tides...have a good one!

01:27AM LST 2.2 L
07:29AM LST 5.6 H
02:53PM LST -0.7 L
09:13PM LST 3.6 H

02:00AM LST 2.0 L
08:01AM LST 5.7 H
03:19PM LST -0.8 L
09:35PM LST 3.7 H

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Surf for Friday – A little more WNW swell with a little funk

Friday will be surfable but there will still be a little wind on it in places.

We are going to see mostly leftover WNW swell (280-300) in the morning with still enough size to have some fun at the better exposed breaks, if they can handle a higher tide. The lesser exposed spots may be a bit burgery so you might want to hold off until the tide drops. A new WNW swell (290-300) starts moving in later in the day, adding a little more punch and consistency at the top breaks in the afternoon, but really fills in more on Saturday.

Sizewise we can expect the average WNW facing breaks to be in the waist-chest high range tomorrow morning. (Small to almost shorebreak at tide sensitive spots). Top spots will be more consistently in the chest-shoulder high range with a couple of bigger waves sneaking through on the lower tides.

Check out the CDIPer this afternoon...expect very similar energy tomorrow morning.

Weather looks like a few scattered showers and some light S winds...most of the weather models are calling for winds to be under mostly variable. It may not be super clean (except at spots that have good protection from S winds) but it shouldn’t be blown out. Expect variable/S winds for the afternoon around 10-12 knots.

I think that the most important thing in the morning, if you aren’t totally bogged down by time-constraints (like work, kids, chores), is to work around the high swamping things out pretty good Thursday morning and I expect it to do it again on Friday. It is a 5.5’ tide at the dawn patrol is sort of screwed. Tide aside your best bet is going to be sticking with the top NW facing spots, particularly if they are sheltered from the southerly winds. Look for the biggest surf down in San Diego but expect some decent, and fun, wave sizes in Ventura, The South Bay, and a few NW exposed parts of OC.

Have a good one...

12:52AM LST 2.4 L
06:56AM LST 5.4 H (this is how the moon says “I hate you”)
02:26PM LST -0.6 L
08:52PM LST 3.5 H

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Surf for Thursday – Rain, some wind, and a few waves

On the surface Thursday doesn’t look like a surf day for most areas...but the models aren’t really sure what the winds will be doing tomorrow morning sooooo if you don’t mind a little rain there may be some surfable pockets.

Our WNW swell (285-300...but mostly 290-300) will continue to send in some waves but will be winding down overall. We can still expect waves in the chest high+ range at the average exposed breaks. Standout spots will have surf in the shoulder-head high range with some bigger sets through the morning.

Weather is where we are going to trip up...the storm that is supposed to send us some rain and wind is basically a little spinner off the isn’t very large, or wide, or intense, but is churning up enough moisture and energy from the tropics/subtropics that it will disrupt our conditions. At this point the real issue is where the low is going to move over the coast...if it comes in lower in latitude we get the rain but semi-offshore winds...if it comes in higher in latitude we get rain and onshore winds...or somewhere in between.

Right now no one is really sure how this thing is going to set up...NWS is saying E-SE winds 10-20+ knots tomorrow (but mostly East offshore winds)...and the COAMPS and WWIII models are calling for W onshore winds...and everyone is calling for rain. (It is a total pain in the ass). Here is a shot of the COAMPS...

Anyway...what it boils down to is that we are going to have to break out the surf cams...and the much more accurate Mark-IV eyeball. If you live close to the beach keep an eye on the trees (you know you do already)...and if you have to drive a ways, then you might want to let it get light enough to see a surf-cam or two before hopping in the car.

If winds are light...stick with the winter spots that have been working the last couple of days. If the winds are out of the SE there are a few areas spread around that could still be surfable. If it is straight out of the W-WNW then you might as well go back to bed.

Here are the tides...

12:10AM LST 2.6 L
06:18AM LST 5.2 H
01:57PM LST -0.5 L
08:31PM LST 3.4 H

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wednesday’s Waves – Last day before the rain

Wednesday will be another surf day.

We are going to see the mix of WNW energy (280-300 with most of the energy around 290-300) continuing to push through...not much else out there...unfortunately for the spots that like a little combo. The WNW’er will be losing some steam though...the periods are dropping and the wave heights are backing off.

There will still be plenty of waves in the chest-shoulder high range at the average winter breaks. Standouts will be in the shoulder-head high range, maybe even a few overhead sets down in San Diego County.

Weather will be decent through the morning. Mostly light and variable to light-offshore winds through the morning and then variable onshore to slight southerly flow by later in the afternoon. Look for increasing clouds through the day as well. Looks like rain starts to move in late Wednesday night and will continue on and off through the end of the week.

Look at the NOAA graphical forecast for Thursday morning...looks nice and sucky...well at least there will be more snow. (of course now that I have mentioned the rain it probably won’t actually arrive until next week...)

If your beach doesn’t have good NW exposure it isn’t going to be all that great you are definitely going to want to stick with the winter top spots if you are looking for bigger wave heights. San Diego, Ventura, and parts of the South Bay will continue to have the largest waves...but there will be some playful sizes at a few of the better NW facing breaks in OC, North LA, and Southern Santa Barbara as well. I guess where I am going with that is...if you are looking for consistent surf try and stick to a break that can pull in swell from 285-290-degrees plus. I still think that the points/reefs are going to be the best call...the beach breaks are still pretty lined up.

Here are the tides

05:36AM LST 5.0 H
01:23PM LST -0.2 L
08:07PM LST 3.2 H

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tuesday’s Surf – Slow fade

Tuesday morning will be a surf day but the WNW swell that peaked Sunday afternoon/Monday will be on the way down.

The WNW’er (280-300) will be slowly fading throughout the day. There will still be plenty of waves for the exposed breaks but not as much size/power as we saw on Monday.

Wave heights will hold in the chest-shoulder high range at the average WNW facing spots. The Standout NW facing breaks…mostly in San Diego…see some shoulder-head high surf with some overhead sets continuing to mix in.

Weatherwise it is going to be pretty similar to Monday just not as hot. Expect mostly variable to offshore winds through the morning and light onshore flow out of the NW around 10-12 knots for the afternoon. High clouds and some humidity creeping around as well.

As for the best spots tomorrow…well the CDIPer from this afternoon is a good reference.

The swell has a bit more west energy in it compared to the stuff that tried to move in over the weekend. You can see that it is doing a better (but not great) job of filling in some of the gaps. Really, if you are looking for big waves, San Diego is going to be the call…Ventura and the South Bay are going to be good backups but won’t be as consistent. From what I have heard it sounds like the point and reefs are showing the best shape…a few of the beach breaks that hook the swell the right way are ok too but the swell is sort of lined up at times so you sort of need something for the swell to shape up on. If you have the time I think that Tuesday would be a better day to drive around…most everyone is back at work so there may be some more open spots out there. (after the dawn patrol of course).

Here are the tides…

04:45 4.9 H
12:43 0.1 L
07:35 3.0 H
11:14 2.6 L

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Monday’s Surf – More WNW swell

Monday will be another surf day…and hopefully the crowd will be a bit smaller (even though a lot of people have the day off).

The WNW swell, which was a bit of a disappointment but did fill in OK on Sunday, will continue to run into Monday. In fact there will be more energy from some trailing elements that followed the first part of the storm…so the size will remain about the same as Sunday but the direction should be a touch more westerly and the swell periods will be a bit shorter as well (probably averaging around 13-15 seconds). Check out the CDIP from Sunday evening…Monday’s energy is going to be about the same…just slightly more west in it.

Most W facing spots will continue to see the chest-shoulder high surf. Standout W facing breaks, the best winter spots in Ventura and San Diego, will have more consistent shoulder-head high sets with some overhead waves sneaking through at times.

Weather will be OK…still nice for most areas but some fog starting to move in at some spots. Look for light/variable winds through the morning and WNW winds around 10-12 knots for the afternoon. Air temps are going to start to back down too.

If you are looking for size I would stick to those top winter areas…looks like the regions that can be a bit marginal, like North LA and most of OC, are going to continue to miss out on a lot of the energy. (though there may be a couple of nuggets in those areas at the top winter breaks). It is sort of an up in the air call if you should drive around looking for surf…the swell isn’t all that, but it is better than what we have had, and it is a holiday for a lot of people…I guess you are just going to have to make the driving call based on how much time you have to burn. I would try and get on it in the morning before the winds start to bump it up through the afternoon.

Here are the tides…

03:48AM LST 4.7 H
11:51AM LST 0.6 L
06:38PM LST 2.8 H
09:56PM LST 2.5 L

Friday, January 16, 2009

Swell Update – Looking at the buoys

I was just going over the buoys (about 2pm on Friday)...and things mostly look like they are on track...but much like I initially thought...I am not super impressed with the numbers that I am seeing on the outer buoys.

Oh there is still going to be swell tomorrow but don’t get your expectations too high for “large” surf.

If you haven’t read the “waves for the weekend” post that I put together last night, go back and check it out.

After looking at the buoys...I almost want to revise the wave heights from that forecast down just a touch...maybe not in overall size but at least in consistency...and I want to push back the arrival of the peak of the swell.

If you are into the geeky forecast stuff here are some of the details that I have been watching...if this stuff makes your head hurt go ahead and skip ahead to the surf stuff below.

Weather-Nerd warning!

This image of the California Buoy (NOAA Buoy #46059) is what is concerning well as a general lack of swell hitting Northern and Central California this afternoon.

You can see that the wave heights are currently running about 10-12’ @ 17 seconds...the swell period was up to about 20-seconds this morning but it has already backed down (which isn’t good).

10-12’ of swell on a buoy that is about 700 miles out is not all that “big”...especially when you are going to see the swell decay quite a bit as it travels. At bare minimum it is going to lose about 50% of its energy...if not more, which doesn’t translate to much on the beach...about 3-4’+ of deeper-water energy...which still has to make it through the Nearshore Islands and survive being refracted all over the place.

Based on what I am seeing today I think the peak of the swell is actually going to be around 15-16 seconds and will be running about half-a-day behind these longer periods.

Surf Stuff starts here!

Basically when you get down to it...we are going to have waves may not be all that big through the morning but it will get bigger through the afternoon and should hold nicely into Sunday.

I still think that the wave heights will be near what I was calling for in the previous update...but I am expecting some inconsistency on the bigger sets, even at top spots.

I wouldn’t be too picky about the surf on Saturday morning...if you find a fun looking, and relatively uncrowded spot, get out there and get a the hunting around more for Sunday/Monday as the swell is more consistent.

Have a good one gang...hope you get some fun ones.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Swell Alert (Update) - Waves for the weekend

I thought I would give an update on the new WNW swell (275-300+) that we have heading our way...maybe help you plan your weekend a little better.

Like I said earlier this week...this swell is pretty healthy but it isn’t going to be massive. It isn’t going to cure cancer, or cause every man/woman/child that looks at it to burst into flames or anything. It is sort of an average winter just seems like more since it has been so small on and off over the last couple of months. If you are looking for double-overhead+ surf you are going to need to go North of Point Conception, and even then you are going to need to head to the better exposed spots.

The burns...look away!

Ok now that I got that out of my system...

It does look like we are going to have some fun this weekend. There will be plenty of waves (of various sizes) at almost all W-NW facing beaches throughout SoCal. We are going to have to deal with some island shadowing and refraction at some spots...but it will be rideable in some form in every region.

Probably the best place to start is with a visual...check out the CDIP sideways forecast.

As you can see the swell really gets going on Saturday and holds into Sunday (Friday looks pretty sad). You can also see that it doesn’t hit all of the areas with the same amount of energy...yeah there are little pockets of lighter blue spread all over...but it isn’t consistent, which is going to be the case on the beach as well.

This map is a little misleading since it groups the wave heights into 3-foot segments...(and there is quite a difference between a 6’ wave a 9’ wave) you have to take the model with a grain of salt.

Here is how I see it breaking down by region...

Santa Barbara – It will be chest-shoulder high for most of the exposed spots...getting smaller as you move further away from Ventura. A few of the top spots may have some head high sets sneaking in at times. There will be some shadowing issues as well thanks to an undersea ridge that pulls long-period energy into the beaches closer to Point Conception. (I actually think this area will be more fun on Sunday and into early next week as the swell periods get shorter and the swell gets a little more westerly).

Ventura – Mostly shoulder-head high at the average spots. Top breaks will be more consistently in the shoulder-overhead range with sets going a couple of feet overhead as the swell peaks. Southern Ventura will be more consistently overhead. Again expect smaller sizes as you move closer to Santa Barbara.

LA – Most of the average W-NW facing spots in North LA will be around chest high with some chest-shoulder high sets. Top spots may see some bigger sets. The South Bay will be bigger...lots of waves in the shoulder-head high+ range at the better areas. Top spots will go a couple of feet, maybe a bit bigger at the deepwater spots, on the sets.

Orange County – Average W facing spots chest-shoulder high...maybe shoulder high+ on the bigger sets. Top NW facing spots, mostly through North County, will see shoulder-head high+ surf with sets going 1-2’ overhead at the spots that can focus the swell a bit better.

San Diego – This is the best exposed region...most W facing spots throughout the county will be consistently shoulder high to overhead on sets. The top winter spots, mostly from La Jolla southward, will be consistently overhead with sets going 2-3’+ overhead as the swell peaks...maybe a little less punchy on Sunday.

Northern Baja – sees similar size to San Diego for the exposed areas closer to the border...expect sizes to drop off as you move further south into the more protected areas of the North/Central Coast.

I know that this is quite a bit of detail...probably more than some of you would like “everyone else” to have...but pretty much everyone, their cousin, and their dog already knows about this swell, (if they don’t their friend just called to tell them). It is also going to be nice this weekend weatherwise and a lot of people have MLK day that is just going to make things more crowded. Hopefully you will be able to use the forecast to find a semi-quiet pocket to grab a couple of waves...(at least there are going to be waves for a few days in a row). I know I am going to be checking out the lesser quality spots to see if I can find a little slice of fun.

I will probably post a buoy update and some weather stuff tomorrow...but unless I see some massive chance this will be the forecast for the weekend. Have a good one!

01:50AM LST 4.6 H
08:57AM LST 1.4 L
02:17PM LST 2.8 H
07:41PM LST 1.6 L

02:47AM LST 4.7 H
10:36AM LST 1.1 L
04:38PM LST 2.5 H
08:35PM LST 2.2 L

Surf for Friday – Not much out there (yet)

Friday is going to be another small day...basically barely rideable for most spots through the morning.

We will have the weak WNW swell that sort of leaked in on Thursday continue into Friday morning and some other background energy (that might be swell...or it could be a boat going by, or a bird landing somewhere, or a whale sort of get where I am going with this). Check out the CDIP right now...this is almost as bad as December...well at least it is warm out.

Anyway expect knee high surf for average WNW facing spots for the dawn patrol...and then smaller surf as the high tide peaks around midday. Top NW facing spots in San Diego will have some waist-high+ sets on the lower tides in the morning but for the most part will be pretty weak as well.

Winds look good...light and variable to light offshore for the morning and sort of variable to variable onshore through the afternoon. It should stay clean for most spots throughout the day.

I guess my only suggestion for Friday morning is not to get super trigger happy and try and hunt all over for the weekend won’t be showing, (It isn’t even showing on the outer buoys yet...though it might by later tonight), and driving all over looking for it is just going to be a lesson in frustration and a waste of gas. Save it for the weekend and early next week.

We may see some of the longer-period energy from the new swell hitting up around Santa Barbara and Ventura around sundown...but I am not expecting much size before dark...just a bit of size pickup compared to the morning. I don’t think it will be worth driving very far to check it but if you are in the area it will be at least keeping an eye on it if the afternoon winds don’t get too bad.

Here are the tides...

12:59AM LST 4.6 H
07:24AM LST 1.5 L
12:45PM LST 3.6 H
07:00PM LST 1.0 L

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thursday’s Surf – More of the small stuff

Thursday will be another weak/small surf day.

There will be a touch more WNW swell in the water...but overcoming the high tide is going to pose some real problems throughout most of the day.

On average we are going to see knee high surf for most of the exposed areas. The standout spots will have a few bigger waves...right in the waist high range with a few chest high sets at the top NW facing spots. Overall it is going to be pretty soft and inconsistent throughout the day.

The weather will be nice...winds will be light and offshore through the morning and mostly variable through the afternoon. Sunny skies for most areas as well. Good beach weather...just no real swell to go with it.

Plan on using your small wave gear...and keeping a really open mind...basically it will be good for washing off the dirt ( hippies) and that is about it.

Here are the tides...

12:13AM LST 4.6 H
06:07AM LST 1.5 L
11:42AM LST 4.4 H
06:22PM LST 0.3 L

As for the weekend is still looking about the same as the post I threw up yesterday. I still think that the swell models are overcalling this swell...the satellites are showing smaller swell heights than WavewatchIII (the swell model) is calling for, which isn't good. That being said there will be plenty of waves, especially compared to the current flatness...just nothing really huge.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – more small surf

Wednesday will be another clean but small surf day.

A little more WNW energy moves in and overlaps our existing swell but not enough to really move the size meter. We can still expect most spots to hold around knee high with some knee-high+ sets. The better WNW winter spots, like San Diego, will see some waist-chest high sets on the lower tides. All spots will suffer on the high tide peak. (Stupid tide).

Weather looks good...light/variable to offshore for the morning and variable through the afternoons...just wish we had some surf to go with it.

Here are the tides...since the high-tide is pushing back a little further into the morning the dawn patrol is going to get a little more appealing.

05:04AM LST 1.4 L
10:50AM LST 5.3 H
05:45PM LST -0.4 L

Swell Alert – New WNW swell for the weekend

There is a nice sized storm pulling together just to the NW of Hawaii that is going to send us some new W-WNW swell for the weekend.

Based on what I am seeing right now it doesn’t look like it is going to be super-huge...but it will be quite a bit healthier than the small stuff we have limping in right now.

The first portion of the storm has already formed and is generating surf...check it out on the is the full Pacific shot...

Here is the storm close-up...(as of Monday)

There are some good wind speeds in the storm but it is not top it off while the winds are laying down some fetch there is still a lot of North/South motion in the storm, which is better for Hawaii than the West Coast (and SoCal in particular).

The real kicker is going to be a secondary front that moves into the bigger low-pressure over the next 36-hours...if it can really pump up wind speeds we could be looking at a bigger swell for the weekend. Lately though I have been unimpressed with the GFS (weather model) accuracy, which is a fancy way of saying that it has been “sucking balls” at estimating surface winds in the mid-latitudes.

Continuing on my buzzkill...I also don’t like that this storm breaks apart and drifts northward as it barely moves past get a real large swell we need the low to ride it up close to the coast and give it a final kick in the pants before it starts to hit...we aren’t going to see that with this system.

Anyway...enough negative vibes...even with all of its “issues” there is still going to be some decent energy coming out of this storm.

We can expect to see some very long-period energy WNW (275-300 but with most of the energy around 290-300) on Friday (16th)...don’t look for much in the morning but the better exposed spots will start to get some bigger waves by the afternoon/evening.

This new swell will peak at winter spots on the 17-18th. At this point it looks good for chest-shoulder high+ surf for most of the “average” WNW facing spots in areas like Orange County and Santa Barbara. The better WNW spots will be more in the shoulder-head high+ range on sets.

Standout winter regions like those in San Diego and Southern Ventura will see consistent head high and overhead surf...with some sets going overhead+ particularly on the lower tides.

Weather for the weekend looks good at this point...not really Santa Ana conditions anymore but pretty nice with light winds through the first half of Saturday and Sunday.

This is all I really have for right now...I will post some more updates as we get closer and we get more satellite data from this storm.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tuesday’s Surf – Small and clean...again

Tuesday will be nice and clean but there still isn’t much swell out there. (Fortunately there is a much better looking shot of swell coming in later this week and this weekend).

Anyway for Tuesday we can expect more, small, overlapping WNW swells and just some very minor SW background energy. Most spots will hold around knee-high+. The standouts in San Diego see some waist-chest high waves on the best sets.

The tide is going to bog us down again through the first part of the day but winds will continue to be pretty there is a chance at some slightly better shape on the afternoon low tides.

Winds will continue to have more Santa Ana flow through the morning...N-NE winds around 10-15+ knots with stronger gusts around the usual passes and canyons. Variable, but light winds move in through the afternoon...generally staying below 10-12 knots for most areas. Check out what the COAMPS is saying about tomorrow morning.

I think your best bet is to wait for the tide to drop after it peaks midmorning (or get up really freaking early for the dawn patrol)...I would probably bring the longboard as well...just not enough juice in the water to power us through the fatter (not with a “ph”) edges of the tide.

Here are the tides...

04:07AM LST 1.4 L
10:01AM LST 6.0 H (stop it already moon!)
05:06PM LST -1.1 L
11:29PM LST 4.5 H

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monday’s Surf – a tiny pickup

For the most part Monday’s surf is going to be much like the weekend but with a very slight bump in size. I don’t think that I would call it a surf day but there will be a couple of waves to ride if you time things right.

We are going to see a slight increase in WNW-NW swell (290-300) on Monday…which will basically take the exposed spots from ankle-knee high+ to knee-waist high…nothing super exciting but better than flat. The top spots in San Diego and Southern Ventura will have some waist-chest high waves that will probably stay closer to chest high on the lower tides.

Weatherwise the Santa Ana’s are going to come back…strongest through midday. So look for mostly variable offshore conditions through the morning and then N-NE winds around 15-20 knots for the afternoon (and stronger gusts through the North LA/Ventura areas). It should stay surfable throughout the day, which is a plus.

I would probably plan on busting out the super-small gear for Monday…basically what you were riding for the weekend. Some of the smaller surfers might be able to get away with some fishy shapes if you are down in San Diego. Don’t spend a lot of time driving around…it won’t be worth jumping counties and if you don’t have waves nearby you probably aren’t going to find much in your area. Oh yeah…the 6’+ tide is going to flatten out the surf tomorrow morning…you might want to avoid that.

Here are the tides…try not to blow away tomorrow.

03:14AM LST 1.5 L
09:14AM LST 6.6 H (sucks for us)
04:27PM LST -1.5 L
10:48PM LST 4.3 H

Friday, January 9, 2009

Waves for the Weekend – Clean but a bit soft

Conditions-wise it is going to be a surf weekend…unfortunately it looks like there isn’t going to be a ton of surf to go along with the Santa Ana winds.

I was a little concerned about how fast the midweek WNW swell dropped off on us (basically it was fun on Wednesday and nearly gone by Thursday)…so I spent some quality time looking at some JASON-1 altimetry data and some of the QUIKscat satellite readings (which actually meant that I looked at some pretty maps and then I played Wii while I thought about things).

"Richard...It doesn't hurt here, or here...just righ here."
"My god what happened to your face?!"
"I knew it!"

Anyway looking at the hindcast data…I have had to downgrade the forecasts a bit…there will still be waves but I don’t think it is going to be all that great. We are going to see some small WNW-NW energy (290-300) and just some trace southern hemi background energy.

Most spots will be around knee-waist high on Saturday, and suffer through the midmorning high tide. The standout NW facing spots, mostly San Diego (even Ventura won’t get that much energy), will be around waist-chest high on most sets but will probably see a few chest-shoulder high faces sneaking through on the low tides in the afternoon.

Sunday will be pretty much the same but we should have a little more consistency as the WNW-NW sees a slight boost in energy.

Weather is going to be good, if that makes you feel better, the Santa Ana flow started up Friday afternoon and will continue through the weekend, showing strongest on Saturday. Look for N-NE winds around 10-15 knots for most areas for Saturday…but passes and Canyons in North LA county and Ventura could see gusts around 20-25 knots at times. Fire danger is going to go way up so keep an eye on that kind of stuff if you live in the hills. Sunday the Santa circulation backs off a touch but we should still see offshore flow in the morning…just a touch more onshore bump through the late afternoon.

Personally I wish the surf was going to be a bit bigger, but with the Santa Ana’s and warmer temps, I think we can still find a few fun waves. The midmorning tides are going to be a bit lame but if you can get out on either side of the high-tide peak there should be a few playful sets. I would stick to the smaller wave gear (longboards and fish) for most spots…and probably fishier shapes at the top breaks.

Fortunately there is some more storm action forming out the back…we might want keep our calendars clear around the middle-end of January.

Here are tides…have a good one!

01:30AM LST 1.8 L
07:39AM LST 6.9 H
03:06PM LST -1.8 L
09:28PM LST 4.0 H

02:22AM LST 1.6 L
08:27AM LST 6.9 H
03:47PM LST -1.8 L
10:08PM LST 4.2 H

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Waves for Friday – new WNW-NW swell

Friday will be a surf will start off a bit slow for the morning but it will be pretty fun by lunchtime and into the afternoon.

Thursday wasn’t as good as I was hoping...the first WNW pulse dropped out pretty fast (actually it was still in the water but it got really steep...290+...really around 295+...on the swell direction which, since the swell period was a bit short really limited the spots that could pull it in). Anyway I took a look at it for a while during lunch and while there were a bunch of guys out it wasn’t appealing enough to motivate me. Check out the CDIP model from this can see how the swell shadow kinda screwed us today. Well except for San Diego, which has better winter exposure.

Friday the new WNW’er (280-300 with the main push of energy around 290-300) will arrive throughout the strongest in the afternoon and then peak overnight in Saturday.

Average spots will start off slow...around knee-waist high...and soft thanks to the building tide.

Standout breaks, mostly those in San Diego, will be bigger in the morning...more around waist-chest high+ on inconsistent sets but burgery with the higher tide.

By the afternoon the average WNW spots should be more consistently around chest-shoulder high. The top spots will be around shoulder-head high with some bigger sets as the sun sets.

Winds will be light-variable to light-offshore in the morning. Look for NW winds around 10-12 knots for mid-afternoon with the possibility of a little sundown cleanup as things shift back around at the end of the day.

Really I would plan to take it easy in the morning and shoot for a midday session if you can...if not, well expect things to be on the softer side during the dawn patrol. San Diego and Southern Ventura will be the biggest on the new swell mix but there should be playful waves at all of the exposed spots as the tide drops. Also some of the more northern spots in SoCal will see that new swell a few hours earlier than spots further if you are in the Ventura/SB keep an eye on the ocean around lunch...there should be some bigger sets coming through.

Here are the tides

12:36AM LST 2.1 L
06:50AM LST 6.7 H
02:24PM LST -1.7 L
08:49PM LST 3.7 H

Thanks for all the responses to the “Bootie Stank” post this guys are freaking funny (and have a bunch of good tips!)

Random Question of the Day – Bootie Stank

Ok this is actually a good question that got sent in...and to be honest I have no idea if there is an answer.

The question is this (and I am paraphrasing)...

Even after hanging my booties to dry out under a vent every night they “still smell like a rabid iguana in heat took a poopoo in them”. Is there some trick that anyone uses to keep them fresh?

Booties are like some sort of freak of engineering... nothing else, (besides a port-o-potty...and dog gas), can smell so consistently bad. They are basically ok just out of the box but the second they get wet it is like a mustard gas chemical is uncanny.

Anyway I usually leave mine out in the garage, or in the back of the truck, and just take shallow breaths when I put them on.

Any of you guys have some bootie secrets? (throw them up on the comments if you do)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Surf on Thursday – we get to do more surfing

Thursday will be another surf day.

On Thursday we have more of that fun WNW swell (285-300) that has already been doing a pretty nice job of sending in waves. It will mix with some other background WNW energy, local windswell, and some minor S-SW swell.

Average WNW exposed spots will see surf in the waist-chest high+ range with some bigger sets mixing in at times. Standout winter spots, mostly in SD and Ventura, will have surf in the shoulder-head high range with some overhead sets at the top breaks. Shape will be a bit soft through the morning thanks to the high tide but it has been getting pretty fun as the tide drops out through midmorning/lunchtime.

Winds look good again as well...mostly light offshore to light and variable through the morning and NW winds around 10-12 knots for the afternoon. It may get a little chunky around lunch but it should be pretty clean through most of the morning.

If you can I would probably skip the dawn patrol because of the building tide...and surf closer to lunchtime. If you have to surf early, and most of us do, then try and pick a spot that can handle the higher tide. There are going to be plenty of waves at exposed spots tomorrow but if you need bigger surf you are going to want to hit up those top winter regions/spots. The water is still freaking cold so bring your booties.

"Man HB is crowded this morning!"

Here are the tides

05:59AM LST 6.3 H
01:40PM LST -1.2 L
08:08PM LST 3.6 H

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wednesday’s Waves – I like surfing, let’s do some more

Wednesday is going to be another surf day...but you may have to switch up spots if you want to find more consistent surf.

On a side note I finally got in the water for a fun little session (I was battling a case of the bird-flu for a couple of days and I had to miss out on the beginning of the SW’er) wasn’t huge, or that consistent, and the cold water made me die a little inside, but it felt good to actually go somewhere on a wave and throw down a little turn here and there. I saw my friend the rapist-dolphin again...who swam in about 5 feet from me so it looks like I am starting 2009 off right with some more dolphin-love...anyways enough about me.

We are going to see our fun SW’er (190-210) fade out a bit more on Wednesday but a new pulse of WNW swell (285-300 but with most of the energy above 290). The new swell is forecast to arrive throughout the day and show strongest by the looks like the peak periods are going to be around 12-13 seconds so it won’t be super energetic but it will have more push than shorter-period windswell. Look for the swell to look a lot like this...but with a touch less S-SW energy.

Wave heights at the average spots will be around waist-chest high on Wednesday...there will still be enough swell combo out there to get a few peaks at the spots without great NW exposure but you are definitely going to want to check the winter spots if you are looking for size and consistency. The top spots, mostly in Ventura , the South Bay, and San Diego, will be more in the chest-shoulder high range throughout the lower tide in the morning and should start to see some head high sets by the afternoon/evening. (A mix of this WNW swell is expected to hold through most of the week.)

Winds and weather will be a lot like Tuesday, “hace frio” in the morning with light offshore to light/variable morning winds, and then light onshore around 10-12 knots out of the WNW by the afternoon. Mostly sunny skies and a bit on the cool side.

I don’t think that there will be enough swell to drive very far tomorrow but if you live on the border of some of the better exposed regions I would at least give them a check. The low tide in the morning is a bit of a bummer but if you give it a couple of hours the air will warm up and the shape should improve. I think the SD and V-town winter standouts could be pretty fun by late in the afternoon, particularly if the winds lay down a bit after lunch.

Random long-range note...the WNW’er is going to stick around most of the week and should actually get a little bigger over the weekend. If that isn’t good enough it looks like we may see some colder Santa Ana flow setting up for Saturday and Sunday as well.

Here are the tides

05:07AM LST 5.9 H
12:54PM LST -0.7 L
07:24PM LST 3.3 H
11:37PM LST 2.2 L

Monday, January 5, 2009

Surf for Tuesday – More waves...go surfing

Tuesday is going to be another surf day.

The SW swell (190-210) and the WNW swell will hang around enough that we will continue to have some playful waves at the better exposed spots. It won’t be winter sizes but anything over chest high is good at this point. Check it out I even spotted an elusive rideable wave on a surf camera…seeing something like this has been like trying to find Bigfoot.

Or maybe it should look like this…

I can almost positively say that may have been my worst photoshop drawing ever…(yet still I debated putting an SUP paddle in it…man I have issues)

Anyway…with the swell mix we can expect that most spots will continue to see surf in the waist-chest high range, a little soft at times, but rideable with the right attitude and equipment. The standout combo breaks, mostly through San Diego and Orange County (which does better on the Southern Hemi swells), will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range. Again sets will be a little inconsistent but fun when they show.

Winds look good as well…mostly light and variable to light offshore for most areas. A little ESE flow for a few of the more exposed areas at times. Look for light/moderate onshore flow through the afternoon.

I think that midmorning will probably be the best call…it has been a bit soft the last couple of mornings but has improved with the dropping tide. Just don’t wait too long the winds will get to it.

Here are the tides

04:13AM LST 5.4 H
12:05PM LST 0.1 L
06:28PM LST 2.9 H
10:30PM LST 2.2 L

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Random weekend update - SW swell showing on the buoys

Hey gang…just a quick random update. Looks like that swell mix is starting to fill in this evening. I am seeing new energy from both the WNW and the SW on the buoys…so hopefully we should have some new waves showing on the beach tomorrow

While the rain may stick around on and off tomorrow it does look like winds are going to improve. Right now it looks like light offshore to light and variable winds through the morning and some light onshore winds through the afternoon.

Here is a shot of the o-side buoy…it will be cold tomorrow, and the water quality it crap again but it will be at least worth checking the cams in the morning.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Waves for the Weekend - Some weather funk but more surf too

This weekend looks like it will have some surf and some funky weather too...lets hope the weather moves out fast enough that we can get some waves on at least one of the days.

We are going to have a mix of new SW swell (195-215), some new WNW swell (285-300), and some building short-period WNW windswell. Really the windswell will be doing a lot of the work from a surf standpoint but the other swells should mix in enough to help cross it up and peak it up a bit more at the exposed breaks. This swell mix will start filling in later Friday night and should peak through both Saturday and Sunday.

Overall we can expect the average exposed breaks to hold in the waist-chest high range with a few shoulder high sets mixing in. The top combo spots that have good exposure to most of these swells will be more consistently in the chest-shoulder high range and may see some bigger sets on the lower tides.

Weather is where things get a bit on lame side. Saturday the forecasts are calling for a new cold front to push through. Sending in some stronger SW-NW flow on Saturday. Right now it looks like some rain showers with some onshore winds around 10-12 knots with some 15 knot gusts. This looks strongest on Saturday and then lightens up on Sunday…potentially even seeing some light offshore for the morning. Check out the COAMPS winds for the next couple of days.

Saturday Morning

Sunday Morning

Sometimes these fronts don’t push through as strong as the models are saying plus even in these COAMPS forecasts I am seeing some gaps in the onshore flow…both of which suggest that we should keep a close eye on it tomorrow…winds may not be as bad as the weather models suggest. It won’t be sunny and 70 or anything but it could be clean enough to surf. Sunday looks better on the COAMPS but it looks like there may still be some instability hanging around that will need watching as well.

Our best bet is going to be a cam check in the morning and if the winds don’t look too bad on the magic interweb box then do a quick drive-by of your favorite spot. San Diego/Ventura/South Bay spots look like they will be the biggest…but we could have some fun at the better combo breaks in OC and LA as well. Santa Barbara will have a few waves but should be smaller than the other areas.

Here are the tides…have a good weekend!

01:41AM LST 4.2 H
08:06AM LST 2.1 L
01:01PM LST 3.2 H
07:26PM LST 1.2 L

02:28AM LST 4.5 H
09:46AM LST 1.6 L
02:57PM LST 2.7 H
08:14PM LST 1.7 L